• Guidelines on Selecting a Project Topic

    Change Starts Now


    MOMENTUM topic areas are the United Nations'

    17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    Please pick your topic area(s) within the SDGs.

  • Pick your own topic or

    join a design challenge

    You can pick your own social issue OR 

    join one of the design challenges proposed by MOMENTUM's partners

    What is a design challenge?

    • MOMENTUM collaborates with several corporations, NGOs and social enterprises to provide a number of "design challenges" that you can solve through your social innovation project. Design challenges help you look at a particular social issue from a more professional perspective. These enterprises and organizations also provide support during the competition.
    • Note that regardless of whether you choose a design challenge or select your own social issue, the judges will review your project equally.



    What should I do

    if I join a design challenge?

    • You can select a design challenge in the registration form. You must complete the registration by Apr 1.
    • The partners hosting the design challenge will decide if you are qualified to join. If you are selected, they will provide training or consultation opportunities to help you better understand your design challenge and prepare for follow-up tasks.
    • If you are not selected, you can still participate in MOMENTUM, but you will have to join another design challenge OR pick your own social issue.

    Who should join a design challenge?

    • If you are particularly interested in the design challenges we offer;
    • If you do not know which social issue you want to work on;
    • If you need access to more resources;

    You should choose a design challenge!

    View the list of design challenges
















    Who should pick his/her own social issue?

    • If you already have a social issue of particular interest to you;
    • If you already have certain experience in a particular field;

    You should choose your own social issue!

    Tips on picking your own social issue

  • Tips on picking

    a social issue

    for your project

    Segment Broad Issues

    Drive big change with a small and concrete action

    When it comes to social issues, people's general instinct is to think of very broad topics like "environmental protection" and "social justice", but to solve such a large-scale problem is a non-starter. Instead, think about the specific implications of these big problems within everyday life and start from there. For example, "reducing wasted toilet paper" is a much more specific issue than "reducing wasted paper".

    Draw Inspiration from Everyday Life

    Reject ideas that are distant from your reality

    Many students choose issues such as "Care for Left-Behind Children", "Helping People with Disabilities", and "Rural Area Education". Their projects are often superficial and can not really help these people, as they rarely have an actual connection with them. In fact, the more familiar you are with the issues, the better chance you have of making a difference. Take a very reflective look at your own life and those of the people around you, and identify an opportunity for action.

    Keep Implementation in Mind

    Seek concrete changes, not fantasies

    You have to consider the feasibility of your ideas. At the end of the day, if your ideas cannot be turned into reality, your efforts will be a waste of time and resources. Choosing a social issue that you are familiar with and that you know is manageable will greatly enhance the possibility of successfully implementing your solution.

  • List of Design Challenges

    Scroll down for more details in the next section!

    United Nations Development Programme


    Design Challenge 1: Reduce the packaging waste from delivery services

    Design Challenge 2: Maintain a balance between the growth of tourism and environmental protection

    Design Challenge 3: Improve the living conditions of migrant workers in cities

    Hands On

    Designing assistive devices to improve the quality of life for children missing limbs

  • Details of Design Challenges

    No.1: Reduce the packaging waste from delivery services

    SDGs: Responsible Consumption and Production

    Design Challenge Background

    There has been massive recent development of China's delivery services, and lurking behind this development is the overuse of packaging materials and the lack of systematic recycling. You order a phone case online and when it arrives, you see that the packaging used is actually 3 times the weight of the case itself! All the packaging involved in this delivery will eventually be destroyed. Simultaneously, a lot of these packaging materials are made from resistant materials which make it very difficult for them to degrade and can be very harmful to natural surfaces; the disposal of these items also leads to soil and water pollution, and the lack of any systematic approach to recycling has lead to very visible pollution.
    Exactly how we are going to reduce this wastage and encourage recycling is a very pertinent issue, and something which you could potentially play a part in solving!


    Participant Requirements

    No age, geographical or linguistic restrictions


    Maximum Number of Teams



    Latest Registration Time

    23:59 (GMT+8), Apr 1

    No.2: Maintain a balance between the growing tourism and environmental protection

    SDGs: Responsible Consumption and Production, Life Below Water, Life On Land

    Design Challenge Background

    Travel has gone from being a rare luxury to a frequent event in peoples lives. Therefore, villages, countrysides, mountains and deserts that are far from the big cities and enable people to see different scenery are getting more and more visitors, but how do we make people do this in a responsible way?
    How do you factor in the needs of the locals when you are travelling? Is there any way to help the local economy whilst travelling?
    What are the specific areas that tourists are polluting? How can we preserve the beauty of these places?


    Participant Requirements

    No age, geographical or linguistic restrictions


    Maximum Number of Teams



    Latest Registration Time

    23:59 (GMT+8), Apr 1

    No.3: Improve the living conditions of migrant workers in cities

    SDGs: Decent Work and Economic Growth, Reduced Inequalities

    Design Challenge Background

    China is in the process of urbanization. Hundreds of millions of migrant workers are being integrated into cities, and their role in expanding these cities has been instrumental. They carry reinforced concrete to build tall buildings; they put food on your table; they make sure your apartment is safe at night, they give people in the city a better life. But with very low wages and difficult living circumstances, migrant workers have a very difficult time finding a comfortable existence for themselves. They live separate from the rest of society.
    Improving their living conditions in these urban areas and providing them with an environment they can call a home are the challenges that you and I can share as one.


    Participant Requirements

    No age, geographical or linguistic restrictions


    Maximum Number of Teams



    Latest Registration Time

    23:59 (GMT+8), Apr 1



    UNDP is the largest development network of the United Nations helping countries to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.



    UNDP will provide guidance on the SDG-related content for the MOMENTUM competition. These materials cannot be used for profit-making purposes.

    Designing assistive devices to improve the quality of life for children missing limbs

    Topic Partner: Hands On

    SDGs: Good Health & Well-Being, Reduced Inequalities

    Design Challenge Background

    According to statistics, there are about 1.1 million children in China in need of prosthetic limbs, about two-thirds of whom are living in difficult economic conditions and under-developed areas. Limb-loss is further complicated with children due to the fact that they are continuously growing, thus their prosthetic needs are ever-changing. At this point in time, there is no clear solution as to what do about this. In the face of this complex challenge, many are turning to the likes of 3D printing and other new technologies to remedy this situation.


    Participant Requirements

    No age, geographical restrictions;

    At least 1 team member with fluent Chinese skills;

    Only open to students who have participated in (or plan to participate in) Tech for Good programs.


    Maximum Number of Teams



    Latest Registration Time

    23:59 (GMT+8), Apr 1


    Partner Introduction

    Hands On use 3D printing technology to create prosthetics for children in need. They aim to use innovative technology to lift those living in impoverished areas of society.